Mnyazi wa Menza: Kenyan female icon who beat British colonial masters

Rich Allela and Kureng Dapel recreate the life of Mekatilili in their creative photography project.

Story highlights

  • Photographers Rich Allela and Kureng Dapel celebrate female African icons in a bold photography project themed “African Queens”
  • In this collection, they re-imagine fearless Kenyan woman Mnyazi wa Menza (Mekatilili) who challenged colonialism in Kenya

Two photographers, Rich Allela and Kureng Dapel, show us how in a series of images in a project titled “African Queens.”

They recreated the life of a female Kenyan icon Mnyazi wa Menza, who was popularly known among her people as Mekatilili wa Menza.

Mekatilili is celebrated in Kenya for challenging oppressive colonial policies in the early 1900s.

She was fearless and was even said to have slapped one of the British colonial masters in a heated argument in August 1913, according to The Star, a local newspaper in Kenya.

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